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Sun Tour stage 4 preview

Can the internationals steal the show?

After yesterday's domination of stage three of the Herald Sun Tour by the Australians, the big question on day four will be whether the internationals can fight back and stamp their authority on the race. This year's field includes 72 internationals, but apart from the stage win on Monday by Lithuanian Dainius Kairelis (Amore e Vita), the visitors have been surprisingly quiet. But the return to a mix of open road and hill climb sections today, after yesterday's flat course, opens the door for yet another overseas raid on the event.

There is sure to be almost as much interest off the road as on, as race officials consider Baden Cooke's appeal against his disqualification during the sprint finish to yesterday's stage. With riders from the other teams leaping to Cooke's defence, the outcome is eagerly awaited, with reinstatement a realistic possibility.

Stage 4 includes intermediate sprints at Seymour and Alexandra, a category two climb on Cotton's Pinch and an even tougher climb up Skyline Road in Lake Eildon National Park.

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